This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

September 01, 2004

California Hydrogen Highway Network Gains Momentum

California's Hydrogen Highway Network is moving ahead with the opening of a new hydrogen fueling station in southern California and plans for three more fueling stations underway. In mid-August, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) opened one of southern California's first hydrogen fueling stations at its headquarters in Diamond Bar, east of Los Angeles. The publicly available station, built by Stuart Energy, is among the first of 13 hydrogen fueling stations slated for construction in four southern California counties. To help implement that plan, Air Products announced in mid-August that it will build three fueling stations for AQMD, collaborating with Proton Energy Systems, Inc. on two of the stations. The new fueling stations will be located in Burbank, Riverside, and Santa Ana, and should be completed in 2005. See the press releases from AQMD and Air Products.

According to Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Storage Systems LLC (TOHS), the AQMD is also looking ahead to the vehicles that will fuel up at those stations. By next spring, the AQMD will add five hybrid sedans with hydrogen fuel tanks using TOHS' solid hydrogen storage system, which works by absorbing hydrogen in a metal powder. The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) is also looking ahead, and released a study in mid-August on the safety of parking hydrogen vehicles in garages. The study found that even non-ventilated garages can safely house hydrogen vehicles, so long as the vehicles are equipped with hydrogen leak detectors and automated hydrogen shut-off valves. See the press releases from TOHS and CaFCP.

The California Hydrogen Highway Network initiative, established in April by executive order of Governor Schwarzenegger, aims to install a network of 150 to 200 hydrogen fueling stations throughout California by 2010. See the California Hydrogen Highway Network Web site.